How Walt Disney World Has Given Back During Thanksgiving Week

by | Nov 24, 2023 | WDW Blog

In celebration of Thanksgiving, Walt Disney World has given back to those in need in the local community. 

Throughout the year, Walt Disney World works with the local Central Florida community to give back through a variety of outlets. In August, Disney shared that they had donated $125,000 to local Florida schools as kids began heading back to school for the year. And in October, Disney World announced a $1.5 million donation to over 15 Florida non-profits. For Thanksgiving week, Disney continued their philanthropy in partnership with Disney VoluntEARS and the Disney World culinary team.

How Walt Disney World Has Given Back During Thanksgiving Week

The Walt Disney World culinary team helped to cook up 1,000 traditional Thanksgiving meals for residents at the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Harbor House of Central Florida. Disney VoluntEARS helped to serve the meals to residents on Thanksgiving Day, marking the 25th time for the tradition. Additionally, Families from the Youth Center were invited to Disney Springs for a special preview of Disney’s Wish, a day before its official premiere on November 22. The pastry chefs of Walt Disney World also spent time with young residents at Coalition for the Homeless helping to decorate special treats that Disney guests can find throughout the resort.

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Photo Courtesy of Disney

Disney VoluntEARS has been working hard to help nonprofit organizations, working alongside Heart of Florida United Way to help pack thousands of meal kits for families in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties. Disney also donated more than $200,000 to organizations to help ensure Florida families have the food, clothing and resources they need for the holidays and beyond. This includes Osceola Council on Aging, Mustard Seed, The Sharing Center, and Hope Helps, a food bank in Seminole County.

Giving back is what we’re all about here at Walt Disney World, especially during the holiday season. This Thanksgiving week, we’ve been out in our community bringing some extra special Disney magic to those in need. Below are all the details and linked here are photos for use in your reporting.

“Giving is who we are as part of the Disney family,” said Walt Disney World Culinary Director Gregg Hannon. “We believe that everything we do to make magic can also make a difference, which is what I see happening when we provide Thanksgiving meals to those in need in our Central Florida community. We all might have a different interpretation of Thanksgiving, but gratitude is something that we all have in common. As a culinarian working at Disney for 26 years, I am extremely proud to work for a company and be part of a team that gives back in such an important way.”

Posts by Morgan Flaherty

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Morgan is the Staff Editor for WDW Magazine. A lifelong Disney fan, her dream day involves just about anything to do with Animal Kingdom. Along with several years of experience writing about Disney, Morgan has also written as a contributing writer for Well + Good, Scary Mommy, Brit + Co, and Baby Chick.
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Authored by
Morgan Flaherty

Morgan is the Staff Editor for WDW Magazine. A lifelong Disney fan, her dream day involves just about anything to do with Animal Kingdom. Along with several years of experience writing about Disney, Morgan has also written as a contributing writer for Well + Good, Scary Mommy, Brit + Co, and Baby Chick.
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